Risk Reports on Climate Change and Migration


General information

Research reports for the three EPICC partner countries – India, Peru, and Tanzania – assess the linkages between climate change and migration. The reports combine the expertise of social and natural scientists at PIK on climate migration, a key need to advance knowledge in this complex topic area. The reports were authored by researchers from across the EPICC project at PIK and partner institutions, combining the expertise of social and natural scientists at PIK on climate-related migration. By identifying knowledge on migration and climate risks in the literature, and weaving the evidence together, the reports provide a comprehensive perspective necessary for evidence-based policy making. Each report addresses gaps in research in this complex topic area and offers recommendations to improve knowledge as well as policy responses to climate-related migration.

The reports for Peru and Tanzania are the products of a multi-year collaborations with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), including its respective country offices and regional thematic specialists on environmental change and migration. The initiative is a good example how partnerships between science (PIK) and practitioner organization (IOM) can increase policy relevance and take-up of scientific findings.

In the case of Peru, the PIK-IOM report is accompanied by a policy brief summarizing key findings. Over the years, the emerging results have been discussed in close exchange with the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry for Women and Vulnerable Populations (MINAM and MIMP) via various bilateral meetings, workshops, trainings, and written inputs into current policy processes. The German Embassy as financed the translation of the report and policy brief.

The Tanzanian report also benefits from the PIK-IOM collaboration but would not have been possible without the support of external contributors and reviewers, among them EPICC Tanzania Advisory Board Member Prof. Herbert Hambati  from the University of Dar es Salaam or colleagues from the Hugo Observatory and UNHCR. Co-author Emmanuel O.K. Leyani contributed to the report in his capacity as guest researcher at PIK. We are also thankful to the Ministry of Agriculture and others  key partners in the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The report is accompanied by a summary brief in Swahili for policy actors and practitioners.

The Uttarakhand report is an outcome of a successful collaboration between the PIK and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India. The report was made possible by the fruitful cooperation between different work-packages under EPICC which includes collaborating with team members working on climate variables and extreme weather events, monsoon analysis, and agriculture. During the project, continuous exchange with the State Climate Change Centre of the Government of Uttarakhand, along with collaboration with Kumaun University has contributed to the dissemination and uptake of findings.

The reports support the envisaged EPICC outcome of helping adaptation to climate change in agricultural and hydrological sectors, and thereby avoiding forced migrations while enabling dignified movement where needed.

Risk Reports


IOM and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have partnered to produce this report, which provides a systematic review of the available evidence on the environment, climate change and migration nexus in Peru.

The study puts into perspective various climate risks and hazards that affect communities in the country’s main topographical zones: the coast, the highlands, and the rainforest or jungle. The report sheds light on the complex interaction between climate and other factors driving migration in the country.

Findings show that people across Peru are vulnerable and exposed to a wide range of hazards, and these hazards are key drivers of migration in the country. Hydrometeorological hazards resulting in excessive amounts of water (in such forms as torrential rainfalls and floods) – or the lack thereof (in the form of, for example, drought or glacier retreat) – are particularly salient to migration. Climate change has intensified these hazards and will continue to do so, possibly resulting in unparalleled impacts on migration. Three such “no-analog threats” are (a) extensive and rapid deglaciation resulting in water stress and glacial lake outburst flood risks; (b) more frequent extreme El Niño events on top of rising sea levels; and (c) practically year-round extreme heat stress in tandem with rainforest degradation or dieback risks in the Amazon basin.

The report discusses the necessity to understand climate migration patterns and improve planning and policies in the short term to the mid-term, in view of these several “no-analog threats” that could occur towards the end of the century.

The report and an accompanying policy brief are available in English and Spanish.

Full study: English version / Spanish version.

Policy brief: English version / Spanish version.

Please find the suggested citation format on EPICC Publications page.

Launch of the report on the 10th of February, 2021

The launch of the  report in February 2021 attracted 185 registrations from 15 countries. Participants came from diverse public and non-state organizations, including civil society, as well as donors. The importance of the report for current policy developments in Peru and beyond was emphasized in introductory remarks by Kira Vinke, EPICC project lead at PIK; Stefan Herzberg, the German Ambassador in Peru; Luisa Elena Guinand Quintero, Vice Minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources, Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (MINAM); Johan Rockström, Director of PIK; and Jorge Baca, Head of Mission IOM Peru. Jonas Bergmann, EPICC researcher and lead author of the report, presented main findings and answered questions from the audience. A high-level panel discussion followed on progress and research needs on climate migration in Peru to support the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and the Plan of Action to Prevent and Address Forced Migration Caused by the Effects of Climate Change. The roundtable counted with the expertise of Silvia Cristina Rodríguez Valladares, Director of Adaptation to Climate Change and Desertification at MINAM; Sylvia Cáceres Pizarro, General Director of Population, Development and Volunteering at the Peruvian Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP); Carol Zavaleta, researcher at the Intercultural Citizenship and Indigenous Health Unit of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH); Andrea Milan, Data Coordinator at IOM, and Jonas Bergmann. It was moderated by Pablo Escribano, IOM’s Regional Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The participants in the event highlighted the policy relevance of the PIK-IOM report for Peru and beyond. The identified evidence is valuable for integration in the Peruvian NAP (National Adaptation Plan) and its Plan of Action to Prevent and Address Forced Migration Caused by the Effects of Climate Change, among others. PIK and IOM are continuing to work with partners in relevant Peruvian ministries to feed their findings into these two policies, whose finalization is projected in 2021.

Further links 

  • 04.03.21 - Conversemos sobre Migración: Diálogo con Especialistas en Temas Migratorios (IOM)
    Jonas Bergmann participated in an interview session organized by IOM South America discussing the link between climate change and migration. Mr. Bergmann presented findings of his recent report "Assessing the Evidence: Climate Change and Migration in Peru" published jointly with the IOM. The interview is available in the Spanish language and can be accessed by following this link.


India, Uttarakhand

The report “Locked Houses, Fallow Lands: Climate Change and Migration in Uttarakhand, India”, jointly elaborated by the researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), focuses on the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is one of the first assessments done on climate change and migration at the sub-national level in India. The report provides an integrated assessment, employing the latest climate data to arrive at granular environmental risks and the impacts thereof on migration conditions. It particularly explores the role of agriculture to better understand climate-migration linkages. The report presents a hotspot map outlining projected climate change effects, projected climate extremes, impacts on agriculture, migration indicators and population density.

The report is based on a review of the state-of-the-art literature and draws from a variety of sources, including scientific publications, government reports, policy documents, working papers, and statistical data. The report is divided in 7 chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the report and its key focus. Chapter 2 gives an overview of Uttarakhand which describes trends in its economy, population (and depopulation), poverty, regional inequalities, and human development index since the state’s formation in 2000. Chapter 3 focuses on climate change variability and vulnerability in Uttarakhand – including rainfall and temperature trends and projections, extreme weather events, and a discussion of district-wise vulnerability. An analysis of migration follows in chapter 4, including historical trends, current patterns, reasons for migration, migrant destinations, permanent and non-permanent movements, uninhabited villages, and depopulation. After considering the evidence on climate change trends and migration patterns, chapter 5 analyses the linkages between climate change and migration with a focus on agriculture. Chapter 6 discusses existing policy frameworks in the context of migration. Lastly, in chapter 7, gaps in research, data needs, and priorities are outlined as policy recommendations.

The report is a successful example of applying scientific research into policy, where the findings of the risk report are being integrated into the revision of the Uttarakhand State Action Plan on Climate Change (to be completed by 30.06.2021).

The report is available in English. The full study can be downloaded on the EPICC project website at TERI.

Please find the suggested citation format on EPICC Publications page.

Launch of the report on the 25th of March, 2021

The launch of the report “Locked Houses, Fallow Lands: Climate Change and Migration in Uttarakhand, India” took place on the 25th of March, 2021, and attracted more than 50 participants. 

Further links: 



The publication "Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change in the United Republic of Tanzania" attempts to comprehensively address climate change impacts in the United Republic of Tanzania, current mobility patterns and trends, and the possible linkages between them. The majority of Tanzanians live in rural areas and depend on rain-fed smallholder farms and pasture that are expected to suffer significant impacts as a consequence of climate change. This report focuses mainly on the internal, rural-to-rural migration flows that are still prevalent in the country. It provides an analysis of the existing research on both climate change and migration in the country, drawing from evidence from the wider climate and migration literature. The main findings establish a first evidence base for future policymaking and investigation in the country.

This report is a joint effort between the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and IOM, supported by a number of external contributors. Emmanuel Ole Kileli Leyani, EPICC guest researcher in 2019 and 2020, co-authored the publication.

Full study in English [ https://bit.ly/AtETZEn ]

Summary Brief in Swahili [ https://bit.ly/AtETZSw ]

Please find the suggested citation format on EPICC Publications page.

Launch of the report on the 31st of August, 2021

The report was presented during the online event “Mapping Climate Impacts, Risky Livelihoods, and Migration in East Africa: Bridging Research to Policy” and its findings got enriched by different speaker's input during a panel discussion. The event took place on the 31st of August, 2021, and attracted more than 50 participants.

Further Links: